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c6/c7 degeneration, Rhomboid pain, working out?

sdohertyssdoherty Posts: 2
edited 01/24/2014 - 11:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

I'm hoping someone here might be able to help me with some advise:

Short of a year ago I woke up with tingling on the inside of my right hand (little and half of ring fingers). This is still the same today, although the numbness is not bothering me so much as just indicating something is still wrong. What does bother me is a pain in around the shoulder blade of the same side, and occasionally my right elbow will also become irritated.

After several Doctor and Physio trips and MRI's etc I know that I have degeneration of the c6/c7 discs. I've also seen a neurosurgeon, but we decided to hold off on surgical options for the moment. The pain has eased off a lot and is now only a mild pinching in around the rhomboid muscle area, which is easy enough to ignore. My work (sitting at a computer) and driving occasionally can irritate it, but not back to anywhere near as bad as it was in the beginning.

I would however like to start training again, especially since the pain and numbness seem to have plateaued and don't seem to be getting any better. So I'm sort of thinking I just have to learn to work around them as they are. I have asked Doctors and Physiotherapists about working out (with weights), and they seem to say it's fine as long as there's no weight put on the neck - so avoid squats etc. However, a few weeks ago I tried working out and it flared up again, so I stopped immediately. I've little interest in going back to a doctor, mostly because I've no real faith in them having any more useful or specific advise than I've already received. So I was hoping I might get some anecdotal advise here maybe from people who have gone through similar...

I have two questions really:
1) Advise regarding starting weight training again. I'll obviously avoid squats as I've been told to by my Doctor. But apart from that any advise on what might aggravate this, or what might even possibly help it? (for example I really can't pinpoint what exercise aggravated it the last time as it was the next day the pain flared up again, not during anything).

2) I've read that strengthening the rhomboid muscles can be good for pinched nerves in the neck, but the right rhomboid area of my back is where I experience pain. So basically, I'm trying to decide if trying to strengthen a muscle that exhibits the pain could help cure the cause, or will it just aggravate the muscle more?

I am very grateful for any advise!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'm back to weight lifting after a year off from my injury. The only thing I was told not to do was working my traps. I also have a C4-C6 injury. I've been doing upright rows to strengthen my back and I started out real low.

    Squats are out since I can't tolerate a bar across my neck. I can do almost anything else as long as it doesn't cause me pain.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • Thanks for the comment! It's great to hear from someone that's working out again after going through something similar. My doctor also said to avoid squats for that same reason. But it's also interesting to hear you were told not to work your traps. I wasn't told that, but I'm a little suspicious of them myself. It's in around that area on the inside of my right shoulder blade that I feel like a very mild pinching.
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